Update on the latest sports
Seeding, not record determines who bats last in World Series
NEW YORK (AP) — The higher seeded team reaching the World Series will have last at-bats in Games 1 and 2 and if needed Games 6 and 7, not necessarily the team with the best record.
The specification was contained in the July 23 agreement between Major League Baseball and the players’ association to expand the playoffs following a regular season shortened due to the novel coronavirus. A copy of the deal was obtained by The Associated Press.
This year’s change means a No. 1 seed from one league with fewer regular-season wins than a lower seed from the other league would have the “homefield advantage” for the World Series should they both win pennants. In the event both pennant winners have the same seed, regular-season winning percentage would decide which team is “home” for the first two games.
In other baseball news:
— Blue Jays closer Ken Giles will undergo ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow, ruling him out for the rest of the season and sending him into free agency on an uncertain note. Giles has no record, a 9.82 ERA, and one save in four appearances this season.
NEW YORK (AP) — Several prizes are in play for the Tampa Bay Rays as they begin an interleague series against Jacob deGrom and the New York Mets at Citi Field. Tampa Bay’s magic number over the Yankees is three to clinch its first AL East championship in 10 years. Already assured a postseason spot, the Rays are also locked in a tight race with the Chicago White Sox for the best record in the American League and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
In other big-league action:
— Philadelphia Phillies slugger Bryce Harper is in the lineup as designated hitter against Washington a day after leaving a game with lower back stiffness. Phillies manager Joe Girardi says he could also use Harper as the DH in one of the two games of Tuesday’s doubleheader. The Phillies are currently the seventh seed in the NL playoff race. Harper has 11 home runs and 28 RBIs and is batting .260 in 51 games this season. He leads the league with 41 walks.
— The NL playoff picture has only the Dodgers and Padres in so far. With six spots in play, Atlanta and the Cubs hold division leads, Miami and Philadelphia are the break-even point. Cincinnati, Milwaukee and San Francisco are all at .500. Brandon Woodruff and the Brewers begin a three-game series at Cincinnati.
— Dane Dunning is 2-0 with a 2.33 ERA in five starts for the White Sox since making his major league debut this season. The 25-year-old righty starts at playoff-contending Cleveland as Chicago tries to move closer to its first AL Central crown since 2008. The White Sox lead second-place Minnesota by two games.
Broncos lose receiver Courtland Sutton for the season
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock is sidelined for the second straight season after getting injured while scrambling.
The mobile second-year pro from Missouri insists he won’t change his running ways despite the dangers. Lock says that’s just not in his DNA.
The Broncos expect Lock to miss between three and five weeks.
The worse news they got was that Pro Bowl receiver Courtland Sutton will miss the rest of the season after suffering a major left knee injury in the Broncos’ loss at Pittsburgh. Sutton was coming off a breakout season in which he caught 72 passes for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns and was named to the Pro Bowl.
In other NFL injury news:
— The San Francisco 49ers have contacted the NFL about the conditions of the playing surface at MetLife Stadium after several players went down with injuries in a victory over the New York Jets. The 49ers players complained before the game that the turf was “sticky.” Those complaints only grew louder after several players got hurt. The NFL says the field was certified to be in compliance before the first game of the season and checked again three days before the Niners beat the Jets 31-13. The 49ers are waiting for MRI results on potential season-ending injuries to defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas and are also dealing with a high ankle sprain to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo that likely will sideline him this week. In addition, a sprained MCL has shut down Raheem Mostert and running back Tevin Coleman, defensive tackle D.J. Jones and linebacker Dre Greenlaw also suffered injuries.
— New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley likely will miss the rest of the season with a major injury to his right knee. The Giants announced Monday morning Barkley tore the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee on Sunday against the Chicago Bears. The team said that the 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year will undergo surgery in the near future.
— Minnesota Vikings four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Anthony Barr will miss the remainder of the season because of a torn pectoral muscle. That’s according to coach Mike Zimmer. Barr was hurt before halftime of Minnesota’s 28-11 loss Sunday at Indianapolis.
— Panthers All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey is expected to miss “multiple weeks” with a high right ankle sprain he sustained in Carolina’s 31-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
— Indianapolis Colts safety Malik Hooker will miss the rest of this season with a torn Achilles tendon. Hooker was injured early in the second quarter of Sunday’s 28-11 victory over Minnesota.
— New York Jets wide receiver Breshad Perriman could miss some games after spraining his left ankle against San Francisco on Sunday. Perriman left the 31-13 loss midway through the second quarter and didn’t return.
NFL NEWS-PATRIOTS OWNER SOLICITATION CHARGE
Florida decision likely clears Pats owner of solicitation
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft will likely not face trial in Florida for allegedly soliciting a prostitute.
Florida prosecutors said Monday they will not appeal a court ruling throwing out video recordings allegedly showing Kraft paying for massage parlor sex acts last year. That makes it likely that misdemeanor charges against Kraft and other customers will be dropped: The recordings are the only known evidence against them.
The state attorney general’s office said it decided not to take the case to the Florida Supreme Court because a loss could have resulted in the compromise of future, unrelated law enforcement investigations.
Lightning, Stars meet in Game 2
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Tampa Bay Lightning are hoping to get off to a better start against the Dallas Stars in tonight’s Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
The Lightning sleep-walked through the first two period in a 4-1 loss in Game 1. They’ve given up the opening goal in six consecutive outings, and not led in regulation in three straight.
Bob Nevin, won 2 Stanley Cups with Maple Leafs, dies at 82
UNDATED (AP) — The former NHL player and fan favorite Bob Nevin has died. The NHL says he died early Monday but did not give a cause.
Nevin won two Stanley Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs before a successful run as captain of the New York Rangers. He also played for Minnesota and Los Angeles during a 19-year career. He helped the underachieving Rangers end a four-year playoff drought in 1967.
Nevin was also one of the first NHL players to wear contact lenses.
Bob Nevin was 82 years old.
Massachusetts will play after all
AMHERST, Mass. (AP) — UMass says it will play football this fall, reversing an August decision to postpone the season until the spring.
One of few independents in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the school says it will start in mid-October. Games still need to be scheduled, which could be a challenge because most leagues are playing a limited number of nonconference games, if any.
There will be no fans at any of the team’s home games in Amherst.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-JACKSON STATE-SANDERS
Deion Sanders named head coach at Jackson State
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders has been hired as Jackson State’s football coach.
Sanders made the announcement on the first episode of the “21st & Prime” podcast on Barstool Sports and was introduced Monday by the school. He’s currently the offensive coordinator at a prep school in Cedar Hill, Texas.
This will be Sanders’ first head coaching job. He replaces John Hendrick and will take over the Tigers this spring. The Southwestern Athletic Conference school postponed fall sports because of the pandemic.
Sanders calls the job “a match made in heaven.”
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-LOUISVILLE-NCAA RESPONSE
Louisville challenges NCAA over recruiting allegations
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville has refuted NCAA allegations against its men’s basketball program, requesting that the highest-level violation be reclassified. The university is also challenging the charge that former coach Rick Pitino failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance in his program. The university filed a 104-page response last week to the Notice Of Allegations sent to the school in May. It states that college sports’ governing body seeks to ignore wire fraud convictions against several people involved in the scheme — including a former Adidas executive — by suggesting they were representing Louisville’s athletic interests.
Player positive for COVID-19 ahead of French Open qualifying
PARIS (AP) — One woman who was entered in French Open qualifying tested positive for the coronavirus and was dropped from the field.
The French tennis federation did not identify the player, who it said must isolate for seven days. Women’s qualifying is scheduled to begin Tuesday.
The news comes a day after the federation announced that five other players were withdrawn from qualifying — two who tested positive for COVID-19 and three who were in close contact with a coach who tested positive.
Matches in the main draw for the 15-day clay-court Grand Slam tournament start Sunday.
Djokovic, Halep win in Rome
ROME (AP) — Novak Djokovic has plenty to celebrate 15 days after getting defaulted from the U.S. Open.
Djokovic beat Diego Schwartzman in straight sets to win his fifth Italian Open title. He also passed childhood idol Pete Sampras for the second-most weeks at No. 1 with 287.
Top-seeded Simona Halep won her first Rome title after Karolína Plíšková retired midway through the women’s final with a left thigh injury. Halep had won eight of the nine games when Plíšková stopped playing.